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People I Know: Roxy “Balboa” Richardson

Roxy “Balboa” Richardson is a professional Muay Thai fighter, nutritional expert, and entrepreneur.  Starting out with the famous RoxyFit gym, she’s moved on to a bigger and better adventure with her new business: Function 5 Fitness.  In this interview, Roxy talks about how she got started, what’s next, and what you can do if you want to follow in her footsteps!

Roxy "Balboa" Richardson

Roxy "Balboa" Richardson

How I Know Roxy

I first met Roxy when I was working for the company behind Champions of Champions Elite.  I became a nearly instant fan girl (so much so that my co-workers teased me mercilessly).  I interviewed her a couple times since then.  I follow Roxy’s Blogs and adore her stances on nutrition (particularly when she points out the fact that soy is evil!–Something I myself have been touting for years).

It’s obvious that Roxy is a very “strong” woman (I don’t even know who’s reading this, but I’d say that she can probably kick your butt), but she’s also a woman.  By that I mean that she’s very feminine (she gushes about her boyfriend, talks about her cats, and isn’t afraid to wear a lil pink skirt).  She isn’t one of those women who feels they have to overcompensate.  You know the type: A woman pretending to be a “man” to be “tough.”  Roxy actually is tough.  She’s the REAL DEAL.  A legitimately strong woman, inside and out.  And I couldn’t admire her more for it.

Roxy and Kimura (the Function 5 Fitness gym cat!)

Roxy and Kimura (the Function 5 Fitness gym cat!)

My Interview with Roxy “Balboa” Richardson

What do you do?

I have a few titles and passions. I’m the type of person who loves work and loves to stay busy  I’m the co-owner of Function 5 Fitness where I am a personal trainer (ACE, CrossFit), Muay Thai coach, and nutritional counselor (FDN, CMTA).  In addition I write health and fitness articles and am expanding my business, Function 5 Health, to tour with my nutrition seminars. I’m also still an active professional Muay Thai fighter.

How did you start?

I started my interest in fitness and health because I got involved in Muay Thai fighting. I was 24 at the time, so this wasn’t my first career path, but I fell in love with the sport and wanted to make it my life. Since then I have developed a strong nerdy passion for all things fitness and holistic nutrition. I really wish I had gone to school for science (my degree is in communications and psychology). I’m really a very big geek now.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

I really enjoy working with people and seeing them progress. Watching a client reach their goals is incredibly rewarding. If make a 1% permanent change in someone’s life that’s awesome. I also enjoy the fact that part of my job as an athlete feels like play time to me.  I know fighters that don’t love training, but love to fight. I’m one of the ones that love the rigors and trials of daily training, the challenge fuels me.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into doing what you do?

If you want to be a trainer or gym owner make sure you LOVE it 100%. The work is constant, the energy required is more than you think and you are responsible for the well being of others . It’s not something you should attempt half-assed just because you want to support your acting gig on the side.  It’s a lifestyle – you have to want to live at the gym. Same goes for fighting.  Never do it because you want the money (there is little or none in the beginning) or it’s cool. Expect to pay more than you earn as an amateur fighter… and never make that money back fighting pro if you choose to fight Muay Thai as a sport. I fight because I have a fire in my that won’t let me sit on the bench. I have to get in there and keep at it, when that fire dies I’ll retire, but until then it brings me so much pleasure.

What’s next for you/your business?

I’m continuing to grow things here at F5 Fitness we are in our first year so there is lot of room for growth and every day is exciting. I’m looking forward to touring more with my nutrition seminars and also taking a fight in late summer or fall – but no firm details yet.

Roxy having a brief moment of relaxation

Roxy having a brief moment of relaxation


Official Website




Roxy Balboa straight right

I just LOVE this picture

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in People I Know


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Who I Am and Why You Should Care

Hello, Everyone!

Welcome to my new Blog!  I’m intending this to be my “Professional” Blog.  And it’s going to update every Wednesday!  (My personal Blog is still up-and-running as well and will continue to update Mondays as usual).

But who am I?

My name is Lauren R. Tharp.  I’m a freelance writer for hire!  But before that I was…

Me at Children's Hospital

Me at Childrens Hospital

A baby!

I was born with a terrible defect in my hip.  I was handicapped.  Thanks to the miracle-workers at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, that’s not the case anymore.

Then I…

Feeling the power of Zotz coin...

Forrest J. Ackerman gave me his Zotz! coin

…got a magic coin!  ZOTZ!

After that a large chunk of time went by and I did a bunch of things…

Me in high school

The outfit (and expression) I wore throughout high school

…like going to high school…

5 Kata

Doing a Kata for a demonstration

…and earning a black belt and teaching martial arts classes to children…

Gallery at the End of the World

Some of my paintings...

…and getting my artwork up in a gallery (3 times!)…

Sold to raise money for Children's Hospital

Fan Art of my favourite comics

…and selling a piece of fan art I did (for charity)…


Still one of my faves, years later...

…I had my own webcomic and I got hired to illustrate a children’s book

Three Cats--count 'em!--Three!

Clockwise: Ziggy (white), Ringo (orange), and Robert (black)

…and I fell in love with cats (seriously, if you check out my personal Blog, you’ll read a LOT about my cats).

And at this point you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, this is all very well and good, but what does this have to do with writing?”  Good question.

My History with Writing

I’ve always loved to write.  I wrote my first “book” in 1st grade.  It was an IlluStory book about a horse that was afraid to jump—which I aptly named The Horse That Was Afraid to Jump.

In 8th grade, I spent most of my free time working on a lovely piece of sci-fi that ended up being 109 pages long.

In high school, I got several awards for my writing including a Golden State Award in Written Composition; and I was also declared the best in my year for 11th grade English.  In addition to that, my short stories were nominated “Story of the Month” three separate times in the now defunct Teen magazine.  I was also the head writer for my high school’s newspaper, the Clark Chronicle.

Straight out of high school, I wrote two original screenplays (The Answer is Always Bea and A Little Respect).  I also won the Editor’s Choice award from the International Library of Poetry for my poem “Another Degree of Nine” in 2004.

In 2006, I wrote several articles for The Pulse, a magazine that specializes in reporting on events happening at Comic Con.

Reporting for The Pulse

A Serious Reporter (Yes, thats me).

When I Got Serious About Writing

I had always dabbled in writing—short stories, poems, and articles mostly—but I had never considered doing it seriously until fairly recently.  Sure, I had been hired to “proofread” (i.e. write) some essays for fellow pupils when I was in high school, but that was pretty much the extent of my paid work.

However, in August of 2010, I decided to take the plunge.  And now here I am: A professional freelance writer!

I started out getting jobs from the usual places:

I spent my time writing articles, press releases, haikus, and short stories.  I also did some proofreading and copy-editing.

But then, in October of 2010, I got hired to work on this television show:

Champions of Champions Elite

"The Best of Muay Thai!"

I became the “Official Blogger” for Champions of Champions Elite.  (If you click that link, it will take you to my work).  I was also put in charge of their Official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

After my stint working for COC-Elite, I ended up doing more in the Combat Sports line of work.  I put my journalism skills to the test and interviewed Muay Thai fighters such as:


Roxy Balboa Richardson

Roxy and me




Goran doing an amazing kick

But I was soon picked up to do weekly articles/contributions for WP PRO BUSINESS.

WP Pro Business

wpPro Business

As it says on the website, “WP Pro Business is the creation of Adam W. Warner in partnership with a select team of professional WordPress power users.”  You should check it out.  My contributions can be found HERE.

In my spare time, I still accept orders from clients (maybe you?), work on my poetry and fiction, and create Squidoo lenses for fun!


I can be contacted for a free consultation for your project, or just to say “hi,” at littlezotz (at) gmail (dot) com.

For more about me personally, feel free to visit my Personal Blog.

For more about anything else, please visit my Official Webpage.

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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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